Spring 2018 Optical Connections Magazine



D esigning an optical network to deliver true optimisation has always been a key requirement for all telcos, services providers and customers, but the opportunities posed by SDN/NFV and the data requirements of fibre to the home (FTTH), SD-WANs, 5G and IoT, have created a whole new ball game. Software Defined Networking- and Network Function Virtualisation-based solutions are becoming increasingly popular among vendors as they provide the increased flexibility and scalability required by enterprises. These solutions are creating a new networking environment rich in functionality and dynamic in the way they can facilitate network changes. We had been living in a networking world dominated by hardware, but we now have SDN, which provides a centrally managed platform that separates and orchestrates decisions about where trac is routed. In addition, we have NFV, the complimentary technology where key hardware network components are becoming virtualised in software. Both hand over operational control over key functions to IT managers. Therefore, a key oering of such environments is the control and functionality of the network available to in-house IT sta and third parties in the ecosystem, which has not previously been available to anyone other than specialist carriers or service provider engineers. MARKET GROWTH The developing path towards software defined networking is borne

How is the industry tackling optical network design and trac management to deliver faster speeds over longer distances and for new services? Antony Savvas investigates.

service providers wishing to capitalise on the benefits of the technology.” He says: “Functions that until recently have typically been hardware-based, such as firewalling, routing and application acceleration are now being housed in virtual containers in highly scalable cloud infrastructures such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, or on-premise, or through a combination of both.” An example of how SDN and NFV work together in this new network environment is “network elasticity” which allows bandwidth on a core network to be scaled up or down on demand. Large service provider aggregators such as Virtual1 have recently launched SDN- based network elasticity services to resellers, placing centralised networking provisioning capabilities into the hands of customers and their partners, who can quickly make any required bandwidth capacity changes on their own and at any time. The deployment of SDN technology also enables service providers to lower hardware costs when it comes to providing co-location services in the data centre, reducing overall operational costs. As dierent types of software can be loaded to the same universal server, this reduces the need to purchase dierent hardware in order to achieve dierent functions. And as SDN technology also provides the ability to

out by market estimates by analyst MarketsandMarkets. It says the global SDN orchestration market is expected to increase from $215m in 2017 to $4.46bn by 2022, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 83.4%. Telecom service providers, cloud service providers and enterprises are all moving toward SDN network orchestration, says MarketsandMarkets. The analyst says: “The rising need for automation of networks and simplification of network infrastructures has increased the adoption of SDN orchestration solutions globally, with rising demand for simplified architecture that is easy to manage with a reduced number of managed devices.” Required changes can be eected in seconds. With such agility, businesses will no longer need to seek support from third parties, having to raise a ticket and then wait for assistance - the power to make changes is right at the authorised user’s fingertips. Nick Sacke, head of IoT and products at UK managed solutions provider Comms365, says: “SDN and NFV are the cornerstones of what we believe to be the future of networking and we’re already seeing a steady transition in both the hardware vendors moving towards software-based platforms, and also in the The agility that SDN provides to organisations is second to none.


| ISSUE 12 | Q1 2018


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